The intrinsic organization of the ventroposterolateral nucleus and related reticular thalamic nucleus of the rat

A double-labeling ultrastructural investigation with γaminobutyric acid immunogold staining and lectin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase

Silvia De Biasi, Carolina Frassoni, Roberto Spreafico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An electron-microscopic investigation of the synaptic organization of the rat's ventroposterolateral nucleus (VPL) and of a reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN) area related to somatosensory thalamic nucleus was performed. In a group of 11 rats, wheatgerm agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA:HRP) was injected either in the first somatosensory area of cortex (SI) or in the dorsal column nuclei (DCN). The retrogradely and/or anterogradely transported enzyme was visualized using paraphenylenediamine-pyrocatechol (PPD-PC) as substrate. In a second series of six experiments, an immunocytochemical procedure using a specific anti-γaminobutyric acid (anti-GABA) was employed. Postembedding localization of GABA was performed for ultrastructural observation by means of the colloidal gold immunostaining procedure. Thin sections of recognized VPL and RTN areas from WGA:HRP-injected animals were further processed for immunocytochemistry in order to localize simultaneously, at the electron-microscopic level, the transported enzyme and GABA. The results obtained with this procedure demonstrated that HRP-labeled terminals from DCN contacted the soma and proximal dendrites of VPL neurons, while the terminals labeled after SI cortical injections were predominantly localized to the distal portion of the dendrites. The same cortical injection also determined the presence of labeled synaptic boutons contacting the soma, and both proximal and distal dendrites of RTN neurons. GABA-immunolabeled terminals were observed in VPL in a number larger than those observed with other methods, since not only typical F terminals were labeled but also terminals containing round and/or pleomorphic vesicles. GABA-ergic terminals contacted the soma and the proximal and distal dendrites of VPL neurons, while in RTN cells they made synaptic contact mainly with the soma and proximal dendrites. In the double-labeling experiments, terminals containing both HRP and specific immunogold GABA staining were never observed. The present data provide a direct demonstration of the presence of a strong inhibitory input from RTN upon VPL neurons and of the existence of autoinhibition within RTN neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-203
Number of pages17
JournalSomatosensory & Motor Research
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1988

Fingerprint

Aminobutyrates
Thalamic Nuclei
Horseradish Peroxidase
Lectins
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Dendrites
Staining and Labeling
Carisoprodol
Neurons
Agglutinins
Electrons
Gold Colloid
Injections
Somatosensory Cortex
Presynaptic Terminals
Enzymes
Immunohistochemistry
Observation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology

Cite this

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title = "The intrinsic organization of the ventroposterolateral nucleus and related reticular thalamic nucleus of the rat: A double-labeling ultrastructural investigation with γaminobutyric acid immunogold staining and lectin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase",
abstract = "An electron-microscopic investigation of the synaptic organization of the rat's ventroposterolateral nucleus (VPL) and of a reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN) area related to somatosensory thalamic nucleus was performed. In a group of 11 rats, wheatgerm agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA:HRP) was injected either in the first somatosensory area of cortex (SI) or in the dorsal column nuclei (DCN). The retrogradely and/or anterogradely transported enzyme was visualized using paraphenylenediamine-pyrocatechol (PPD-PC) as substrate. In a second series of six experiments, an immunocytochemical procedure using a specific anti-γaminobutyric acid (anti-GABA) was employed. Postembedding localization of GABA was performed for ultrastructural observation by means of the colloidal gold immunostaining procedure. Thin sections of recognized VPL and RTN areas from WGA:HRP-injected animals were further processed for immunocytochemistry in order to localize simultaneously, at the electron-microscopic level, the transported enzyme and GABA. The results obtained with this procedure demonstrated that HRP-labeled terminals from DCN contacted the soma and proximal dendrites of VPL neurons, while the terminals labeled after SI cortical injections were predominantly localized to the distal portion of the dendrites. The same cortical injection also determined the presence of labeled synaptic boutons contacting the soma, and both proximal and distal dendrites of RTN neurons. GABA-immunolabeled terminals were observed in VPL in a number larger than those observed with other methods, since not only typical F terminals were labeled but also terminals containing round and/or pleomorphic vesicles. GABA-ergic terminals contacted the soma and the proximal and distal dendrites of VPL neurons, while in RTN cells they made synaptic contact mainly with the soma and proximal dendrites. In the double-labeling experiments, terminals containing both HRP and specific immunogold GABA staining were never observed. The present data provide a direct demonstration of the presence of a strong inhibitory input from RTN upon VPL neurons and of the existence of autoinhibition within RTN neurons.",
author = "Biasi, {Silvia De} and Carolina Frassoni and Roberto Spreafico",
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T1 - The intrinsic organization of the ventroposterolateral nucleus and related reticular thalamic nucleus of the rat

T2 - A double-labeling ultrastructural investigation with γaminobutyric acid immunogold staining and lectin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase

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N2 - An electron-microscopic investigation of the synaptic organization of the rat's ventroposterolateral nucleus (VPL) and of a reticular thalamic nucleus (RTN) area related to somatosensory thalamic nucleus was performed. In a group of 11 rats, wheatgerm agglutinin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (WGA:HRP) was injected either in the first somatosensory area of cortex (SI) or in the dorsal column nuclei (DCN). The retrogradely and/or anterogradely transported enzyme was visualized using paraphenylenediamine-pyrocatechol (PPD-PC) as substrate. In a second series of six experiments, an immunocytochemical procedure using a specific anti-γaminobutyric acid (anti-GABA) was employed. Postembedding localization of GABA was performed for ultrastructural observation by means of the colloidal gold immunostaining procedure. Thin sections of recognized VPL and RTN areas from WGA:HRP-injected animals were further processed for immunocytochemistry in order to localize simultaneously, at the electron-microscopic level, the transported enzyme and GABA. The results obtained with this procedure demonstrated that HRP-labeled terminals from DCN contacted the soma and proximal dendrites of VPL neurons, while the terminals labeled after SI cortical injections were predominantly localized to the distal portion of the dendrites. The same cortical injection also determined the presence of labeled synaptic boutons contacting the soma, and both proximal and distal dendrites of RTN neurons. GABA-immunolabeled terminals were observed in VPL in a number larger than those observed with other methods, since not only typical F terminals were labeled but also terminals containing round and/or pleomorphic vesicles. GABA-ergic terminals contacted the soma and the proximal and distal dendrites of VPL neurons, while in RTN cells they made synaptic contact mainly with the soma and proximal dendrites. In the double-labeling experiments, terminals containing both HRP and specific immunogold GABA staining were never observed. The present data provide a direct demonstration of the presence of a strong inhibitory input from RTN upon VPL neurons and of the existence of autoinhibition within RTN neurons.

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